TikTok 101

TikTok has quickly become not only a social media mainstay, but also has the potential to become a lucrative business marketing force. Boasting 1 billion monthly active users, Tiktok is the place to see and be seen for all age ranges and that holds true for businesses as well. The unique way the platform encourages a more relatable and personalized marketing experience, paired with the ever-growing number of advertising tools, means it provides the perfect opportunity to interact with your target customers in a whole new way.

By tapping into trending topics and challenges, crafting regularly occurring live streams, or getting creative with trending sounds, TikTok gives creative and out-of-the-box ideas about how you can best represent the personality of your business. Feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities? Don’t worry! We’re here to walk you through a few of the simple basics and features so you can jump right in.

Setting up your business account:

  • Download and open the TikTok app.
  • Create a new personal account. You can use your email, or log in with your Google, Twitter or Facebook account.
  • Tap ‘Me’ in the lower right corner, then tap ‘Edit Profile’. Here, you can add a profile picture and bio, plus links to other social accounts.
  • To switch to a Business Account, tap the three dots in the upper right corner, then ‘Manage Account’.
  • Tap ‘Switch To Pro Account’ and choose between Business or Creator.
  • Now, pick the category that best describes your brand and tap ‘Next’.
  • Add a website and email address to your profile, and you’re all done!*

*If you’ve already got a personal TikTok account, it’s easy to switch over to a Business Account: just skip right to step 4!

Getting To Know TikTok

Just like every other social website, it’s best to take some time to get to know how TikTok works. Explore the various features and really get to know the lay of the land, play with video settings and filters and search out competitors to see how they are using the platform. We suggest to start:

  • Spend some time curating your ‘For You’ (FYP) page, a.k.a Tiktok’s ‘Home’. This is the first page you see upon logging in and can also be found on the left ‘Home’ button of the navigation toolbar at the bottom of the screen. When you browse around the app, Tiktok learns who you are and curates your Home page to you specifically from your browsing history, showing you videos you’ll find most appealing and/or useful. The more you interact with different videos by liking, saving, commenting, and sharing, the more the algorithm learns what to show you and what type of audiences to push your content to when you begin posting videos.
  • You’ll notice on the right side of every TikTok video is a series of icons. The first will take you to the profile of the user who posted it. Beneath that icon you’ll see a heart, which functions just like hearts, or likes, on Instagram. Next is the comments you can click to read what others have to say or leave your own comment. Below that you’ll see an icon that looks similar to a ribbon/bookmark; clicking that icon will save the video to a favorites folder. Next, a right-pointing arrow for sharing individual TikTok posts to other platforms. The very last icon on the right-hand side is a spinning record, this represents the song or sound the user selected to play for their post. Click on it to see the track’s name, artist, and other videos that have used that sound.
  • The Discover icon is the next button on your bottom navigation panel. This may be one of the most important places to browse when first starting out on TikTok. The Discover page shows you which video effects, music, challenges, hashtags, and topics are currently trending. You can use this tool to get video subject ideas or just keep a pulse on what is popular to promote. Word of advice: if you want to use something you see on the Discover page, act fast! Trending topics move on relatively quickly.
  • Next you’ll find a white “+” icon. This is how you open the camera to record your video, or upload a pre-recorded video. You can edit clips, add a song, or a filter as well! On the right side of the recording screen is a flip button to toggle your camera from front to back, a speed option, a Beauty button (which subtly edits skin imperfections), a filters menu, a countdown timer, and a Q&A option if you need a little direction in what to talk about. At the bottom of the record screen, you will find options for video length (up to 3 minutes), a video effects menu, and a video upload option, where you will be able to upload a pre-recorded video. There are also templates you can choose from to get your creative juices flowing.
  • Once you start sharing TikToks, you can check how many people have watched them by looking at the view numbers on your profile. Tap the “inbox” icon at the bottom of the home screen to see who has followed you, commented on or liked your videos.
  • On your profile screen, you can view the videos you’ve posted, private videos that viewable only to you, your saved video folders, as well as all of the videos you’ve “liked” while on your For You Page. You can also edit your profile from this page if needed.
  • Last but not least, at the top right corner of your profile page is where you will find your live event calendar (if you have any scheduled down the line), and a menu button (≡) that will take you to where you can find your settings, as well as your creator tools. The creator tools is where your analytics will live when you begin posting, so you can begin planning campaigns based on your data!

That’s the basics! Time to jump in and get started, it’s easier and much more fun than you think. And be sure to keep an eye out for future TikTok tips and tricks from LASK…